The fact that Franklin Pierce University has its first NCAA championship in women’s track shouldn’t be controversial.
In fact, the idea that a small, private college in New Hampshire could win a national championship when its women’s track program has been around for seven years seems pretty amazing.
What’s even more amazing is how thoroughly the athlete who won the national championship dominated the field:
“Senior CeCe Telfer (Lebanon, N.H.) took control of the 400-meter hurdles down the back stretch on Saturday night and went on to post victory by more than a second, in a personal collegiate-best time of 57.53 seconds,” a post on the college’s athletics page reads.
“Telfer also added All-America First Team accolades in the 100-meter hurdles earlier in the day, on the third and final day of the NCAA Championships, hosted by Texas A&M-Kingsville, at Javelina Stadium.”
The controversy arises in the fact that CeCe Telfer isn’t a female. In fact, Telfer was named “Craig” at birth, in a male body.
The male body, as is scientifically understood, is naturally faster and stronger than the female body. But don’t worry, SB Nation’s LGBT-themed OutSports website vouchsafes: Telfer “doesn’t win every time.”
“Bad news for those looking for proof that transgender women athletes are ‘destroying’ women’s athletics because of what they claim is their ‘inherent advantage’ over cisgender — non-trans — competitors,” a March 10 article read.
“They will surely be disappointed in the results from the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburgh, Kan., Saturday. If anything, they will see that one young trans woman, CeCe Telfer, who’s been targeted by right-wing websites for ‘switching to female’ didn’t even crack the top five in any of her events.”
Well, herein lies the problem: No, CeCe Telfer doesn’t always win. In fact, Tefler participated in two events at the national championships last week and won only one of them.
What OutSports didn’t mention was that when “CeCe” was known as “Craig,” Telfer competed on the men’s team at Franklin Pierce — and was nowhere near a champion.
An article in the running website LetsRun.com laid out the facts in scathing detail:
“Prior to joining the women’s team this season, Telfer was a mediocre [Division II] athlete who never came close to making it to nationals in the men’s category,” the article noted.
“In 2016 and 2017, Telfer ranked 200th and 390th, respectively, among [Division II] men in the 400 hurdles (Telfer didn’t run outdoor track in 2018 as either a man or woman). Now she’s the national champion in the event simply because she switched her gender (Telfer’s coach told us that even though she competed on the men’s team her first three years, her gender fluidity was present from her freshman year).
“The fact that Telfer can change her gender and immediately become a national champion is proof positive as to why women’s sports needs protection. “
— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) May 26, 2019
So, no. The athlete named Tefler doesn’t always win. In the women’s division, “CeCe” is a top-ranked runner who won the national championship in the 400-meter hurdles by more than a second and placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles. Competing against other men, “Craig” was ranked 200th in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles.
But please, tell us how dishonest, transphobic “right-wing websites” are getting it wrong regarding Telfer by claiming biological males have an inherent advantage over biological females in women’s sports.
In 2011, the NCAA released a guide about transgender athletes that included incorrect “assumptions” about them having an “unfair competitive advantage,” one of which is “that being born with a male body automatically gives a transgender woman an unfair advantage when competing against non-transgender women.”
The guide noted that NCAA bylaws allow a male-to-female transgender athlete to participate in women’s sports if there is documentation of one full year of testosterone suppression treatment.
The guide states that it’s “important to know that any strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman arguably may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy.”
“According to medical experts on this issue, the assumption that a transgender woman competing on a women’s team would have a competitive advantage outside the range of performance and competitive advantage or disadvantage that already exists among female athletes is not supported by evidence.”
The implication of medical unanimity on this issue is actually totally false, but let’s say the officials who formulated the NCAA’s transgender athletics policy weren’t informed of that.
I’d like them — and the folks at OutSports, who declined to mention this very pertinent fact in their hot take about how Telfer “doesn’t win every time” — to explain how Craig Telfer was ranked 200th in the nation at his best in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, but CeCe Telfer finished first in the same event at the national championships on the women’s side.
Surely all of those “strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman arguably may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels” would have “dissipate[d] after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy,” right?
If that were the case, CeCe Telfer would be the same mediocre athlete that Craig Telfer was.
Somehow, that didn’t happen and CeCe is trouncing the competition in a manner Craig never could have dreamed of.
I wonder why.
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